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Good editing is like climbing a mountain, a step at a time – a sentence, a word at a time. It can be a hard slog and it is not for the faint-hearted.

Poor editing is one of the principal reasons for manuscript rejection. It shows you don’t care enough about your writing. It is like wearing a crumpled shirt with a gravy stain for an interview.  

People often say to me, but isn’t it the job of the editor at the publishing house to fix up my manuscript?  No it isn’t.  Editors these days like near perfection to land on their desk. 

  It is not easy to edit your own work. As a writer and an editor I know it is much easier to edit someone else’s work than my own. Editing requires objectivity and it is impossible for any writer to be entirely objective. 

 To edit well, you must have a clear mind, a cool heart and an understanding of how language works. 

It often means discarding the very writing you hope will gain you immortality as a writer – words that you wrote in a hot passion – their eloquence and wisdom surprising when you re-read.  

But that passage may no longer be applicable, or you have said it before, or it is overblown and you are too in love with your own words to see it. 

In my workshop you will be focusing on the basic criteria for good editing.


  You will learn how to:
  • Be objective. Yes, there are techniques…
  • Dramatically improve the pace, tension and clarity of your manuscript by cutting out ‘flab’.
  • Enrich your writing by using the power and magic of metaphor.
  • Turn a sentence that is turgid as a bowl of porridge into a sentence that dances, even sings.
  • Recognize the ‘good’ words from the ‘bad’…
  • Understand how rhythm and repetition build atmosphere and expectation in the reader.
  • Attend to dialogue.
  • Know when enough is enough. And a full stop, or even THE END is required.
Who should attend?
  • Any writer who is nearing their final draft.
  • Any writer who is in the throes of writing and is uncertain about their writing skills.
  • If you are intending to self publish, this workshop is invaluable.  The editing of ‘partnership’ publishers tends to be cursory. They do not have as much to lose as traditional commercial publishers. As the writer, you have your reputation…
Once you have a rigorously pared-back and polished manuscript the editor of a publishing house is more likely to say encouraging words like, Yes, your manuscript has promise… Or better still, I couldn’t stop reading… 

Then you will knuckle down and edit it all over again, this time to their standards… And that’s writing.

Editing is not for Wimps is a hands-on workshop with your own manuscript.



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